Monday, December 4

My Frugal Miser - November Expenses: $3,498


November wasn't a terrible month.  Three large expenses accounted for over $2,000 in spending:  car insurance, medical bills and the annual property tax bill.  I bought a new Chromebook, some Christmas gifts and spent a little during our cruise.  We did very little gambling, but I won just a little, which offset the money we spent on alcohol in the Entertainment category.  There weren't any other unusual expenses last month.

November Expenses:  $3,498

$647 Auto ($60 for gas, $11 for service, $576 for 6 months insurance)
$0 Bank Fees
$113 Clothing
$105 Computer
$21 Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol)
$268 Food
$110 Gifts Given
$6 Household/Housing/Home Repair
$0 Homeowner's Insurance (annual payment)
$28 Health and Dental Insurance (prepaid 2017 health insurance premiums in December 2016)
$0 Investment Expense
$65 Interest Expense*
$647 Medical/Dental (income)
$0 Miscellaneous
$0 Personal Care
$0 Subscriptions
$904 Taxes (Property Taxes on my residence)
$52 Sharing Economy Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$388 Utilities
$144 Vacation

*Interest expense includes student loans and the loan on my car.  As both rates are below 2%, I am completely comfortable paying the interest each month and investing the money that I would otherwise use to pay off these loans.  In November, I paid $46 to E*Trade for "hard to borrow" interest on a short sale of stock. 

Friday, December 1

My Frugal Miser - November Income: $13,502


Almost half my November income was a capital gain on a Sears put option that I sold.  It wasn't a great month for income otherwise because I still have two non-performing rental properties.  I wrapped up a large mystery shopping route.  The bonus for that route will be paid in December, but otherwise my mystery shopping income will fall in December.  Amazon income was way down because we worked a meeting for a week in Dallas, took an 8 day cruise, and I was focused on finishing the BP route.  In December I think Amazon will be a much larger source of my total income.

November Income: $13,502

$2,757 Mystery Shopping and Hospitality Jobs
$0 Uber
$0 Lyft
$0 Postmates
$1,200 Amazon Deliveries
$3,578 Rental Income
$0 Dividends and Interest (Investment Accounts)
$5,926 Realized Gains (Losses) on Investments
$41 Other Sources

Notes:  
  • I don't include transactions in my retirement accounts.  This includes rental income, dividends and capital gains and losses.
  • I include merchandising and hospitality work in the mystery shopping category since the companies that I shop for provide this extra side work. 

Thursday, November 9

My Frugal Miser - October Expenses: $1,485


I was frugal in October.  Because of all the work we did, we were able to keep our food costs low since many clients feed us while we are working.  There were some annual charges in the mix, including my tag renewals (I renewed the Sonata and the moped for two years) and AAA membership.  I also received a cruise offer I couldn't refuse.  We are leaving Saturday for an 8 day Caribbean cruise.  For the two of us with taxes the cost was $400.

I had a nice bit of income in the expense category.  Since we were working I sold my Bruno Mars tickets.  I sold them directly on the Ticketmaster website for a $400 profit.

October Expenses:  $1,485

$265 Auto ($4 for gas, $136 for AAA membership, $125 for registration)
$59 Bank Fees
$70 Clothing
$10 Computer
($465) Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol)  income this month
$210 Food
$85 Gifts Given
$133 Household/Housing/Home Repair
$0 Homeowner's Insurance (annual payment)
$28 Health and Dental Insurance (prepaid 2017 health insurance premiums in December 2016)
$0 Investment Expense
$457 Interest Expense*
$0 Medical/Dental (income)
$0 Miscellaneous
$5 Personal Care
$0 Subscriptions
$0 Taxes
$62 Sharing Economy Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$130 Utilities
$440 Vacation

*Interest expense includes student loans and the loan on my car.  As both rates are below 2%, I am completely comfortable paying the interest each month and investing the money that I would otherwise use to pay off these loans.  In October, I paid $428 to E*Trade for "hard to borrow" interest on a short sale of Sears Holdings stock. 

Monday, November 6

My Frugal Miser - October Income: $14,217


October was a solid month.  I worked some large meetings and did several BP mystery shops.  I also had two profitable stock sales:  I closed out my short position for SHLD (sticking to Puts moving forward) and made a short-term profit on some of my Biglari Holdings stock.   Rent was down.  I have two non-performing rental properties right now.

October Income: $14,217

$2,030 Mystery Shopping and Hospitality Jobs
$46 Uber
$22 Lyft
$0 Postmates
$1,591 Amazon Deliveries
$5,397 Rental Income
$985 Dividends and Interest (Investment Accounts)
$3,914 Realized Gains (Losses) on Investments
$232 Other Sources

Notes:  
  • I don't include transactions in my retirement accounts.  This includes rental income, dividends and capital gains and losses.
  • I include merchandising and hospitality work in the mystery shopping category since the companies that I shop for provide this extra side work.